In the current era of Digital India, it is almost impossible to shop and not use UPI apps such as Gpay or Phonepe. What If we tell you that Google used unfair methods to promote Gpay over other UPI apps?
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Tuesday concluded an investigation. It said that Google leveraged its dominance to facilitate an unfair advantage to Gpay in play store payments over other UPI apps.
Google Favoured Gpay
The CCI imposed a fine of ₹936.44 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position with respect to its Play Store policies.
The Commission examined the allegations of exclusion of rival UPI apps as effective payment options on Play Store. It found that Gpay was integrated with superior technology compared to other UPI apps.
As per CCI, “Gpay has been integrated with intent flow methodology whereas other UPI apps can be used through collect flow methodology”.
The competition watchdog noted that intent flow technology is superior and user-friendly to collect flow technology.
In simpler terms, the success rate of users with intent flow technology is higher than the collect flow technology. The intent flow technology offers more advantages as its less time-consuming.
As per Razorpay, the customer must select one UPI app and the pin to complete the transaction. However, UPI collect methodology requires customers to enter their UPI ID/VPA, which is less convenient.
Though Google said that it recently changed its policy. Now Google provides rival UPI apps to be integrated with the intent flow technology.
Anti-Competitive Practices of Google
Google’s Play Store constitutes the leading distribution channel for app developers in the Android mobile ecosystem. It allows app developers to capitalize on the apps brought to market.
Selling in-app digital goods is essential for app developers to monetize their creations. Although, the developers are forced to use Google’s payment system for any transaction on Play Store.
According to CCI, “Google’s Play Store policies require the App developers to exclusively and mandatorily use Google Play’s Billing System (GPBS)”. Developers cannot, within an app, provide users with a direct link to a webpage containing an alternative payment method or use language that encourages a user to purchase the digital item outside of the app.
The large pool of prospective customers who use Android would be lost if app developers did not follow Google’s Play Store policies.
Days before, Google was fined ₹1337.76 crore by the CCI for unfair business practices. The free trade body stated that Google used its market dominance to establish supremacy over other competitors.
The tech giant is in deep waters as the recent penalties threaten its business and credibility in the Indian market.